In 2021 Legacy Pilots released The Penrose Triangle (see review) and I was rather amazed and surprised at how good that album was, so now that I had the chance to review Helix, the new album of the Hamburg-based band, read Frank Us, I gladly took it.
Again, multi-instrumentalist Us is joined/ assisted by Marco Minnemann (drums), Pete Trewavas (bassguitar), Steven Rothery (guitars) and John Mitchell singing the first two tracks on this new album. You have to listen to this album a couple of times to really appreciate and “understand” the music of Legacy Pilots as you discover new musical highlights every time you experience it. All the tracks are again almost pure progressive rock with obvious influences from notorious prog rock bands like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Kansas. Two songs truly stand out here, namely the epics Re-sponse (clocking in over seventeen minutes and divided into eight parts) and Exploring My DNA, clocking in over fourteen minutes, divided into three parts. Both tracks are packed with emotional vocals, soaring guitar melodies and solos and beautiful tempo twists and turns; check out Rothery's typical excellent guitar solo in Part two The Inner Battlefield of Re-sponse for example. The first two songs of this album feature John Mitchell (Frost*, Lonely Robot, Arena) on vocals and he does a more than excellent job there, very emotional, and very melodic, giving me goosebumps all over the place indeed!
So, this fourth Frank Us/Legacy Pilots album is again a must for lovers of melodic prog rock and if you liked The Penrose Triangle then Helix is a must buy album without a shadow of a doubt. Tip: listen to the album with your headphones on and enjoy it even more!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Dave Smith)
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